Rafael Nadal lifted the Melbourne Summer Set trophy on Sunday by downing the American qualifier Maxime Cressy 7-6(6), 6-3.
The Spaniard was playing for the first time since August this week after a foot injury curtailed his 2021 season. However, the world number six showed little sign of rustiness in Melbourne, not dropping a set at the ATP 250 event to earn his 89th tour-level crown.
In an entertaining match, Cressy attacked Nadal with his high-flying serve-and-volley game, but the Spaniard returned well throughout and showed a great fight. The 35-year-old saved a set point in the first-set tie-break and rallied from a break-down in the second set, before eventually triumphing after one hour and 44 minutes. This was Cressy's first ATP Tour final.
"This court has always been very, very special for me," Nadal said after the match. "The Rod Laver Arena is very, very special for everyone and it is more special because of you guys. You guys are a great crowd and I can't thank you enough," he added.
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